For Vietnamese Christians on May 4th
Assist News Service
-- SANTA ANA, CA (ANS) -- Open Doors is encouraging Christians worldwide
to remember the Church in Vietnam on May 4. This special Sunday has been designated
as the International Day of Prayer for Vietnam by several organizations concerned
about the situation in this Southeast Asian nation.
We have a very simple
theology, a leading Vietnamese pastor said. If you have problems pray. If
you have more problems pray more!
While the laws of Vietnam promise
religious freedom, in practice the government continues its policies of religious
repression among the population of almost 80 million. Vietnam is No. 3 on Open
Doors World Watch List which ranks countries according to the intensity of persecution
Christians face for actively pursuing their faith.
Having spent a week
in Vietnam late last year, I can attest to the persecution of pastors and other
Christiansmany of those with whom we spoke with had been imprisoned at least
once for their faith, says Jerry Dykstra, Media Relations Coordinator for Open
Doors USA. Christians in Vietnam need our prayer and support; not just on May
4 but every day of the year as do millions of Christians around the world who
are persecuted for their faith.
Persecution is intense among the minority
tribal groups, or Montagnards, in the Central Highlands and northern mountain
regions, where the church has grown dramatically in recent years.
reports indicate Christian persecution is increasing. Hundreds of Montagnard churches
have been closed and more than 50 pastors and church leaders have been arrested
during the last few months. According to the U.S. Commission on International
Religious Freedom, government officials continue to suppress organized religious
activities and to harass leaders and followers of unregistered religious organizations,
as well as clergy members of officially recognized religious groups.
addition, the majority of Vietnams people have only known life under a communist
regime with its inherent limitations on religious freedom.
of Vietnams population is less than 24 years old, which means that over half
of the population was born after 1975 and the fall of Saigon, a Vietnam watcher
told Open Doors. Thirty-two percent are between 11 and 14 years of age.
this years International Day of Prayer for Vietnam is encouraging special prayer
for Vietnams children. Focusing our eyes on the children reminds us how Jesus
so dearly loves the children of this world. Let the little children come to Me,
and do not forbid them; for such is the Kingdom of God, (Mark 10:14), records
the International Day of Prayer for Vietnam website (www.pray4vn.com).
Pray for the minority tribal groups, particularly
the Christians, as the level of persecution against them is increasing. More than
50 pastors and church leaders among them have been imprisoned, and an estimated
500 churches have been closed.
Pray for Christians in Vietnam who have
suffered beatings, confiscation of property, harassment, intimidation; pray for
those who have had their travel restricted.
Pray for the Evangelical Church
of Vietnam (ECVN). While the ECVN has official recognition and is being allowed
to train selected students for leadership, the government continues its policies
of restriction and control.
An estimated 200 million Christians worldwide
suffer persecution for their faith in Christ, with another 200 to 400 million
facing discrimination for being Christian.
from Assist News Service
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News Service is brought to you in part by Open Doors USA, a ministry that has
served the Suffering Church around the world for nearly 50 years.
200 million Christians worldwide suffer persecution for their faith in Christ,
with another 200 to 400 million facing discrimination for being Christian. Open
Doors, founded in 1955 by Brother Andrew, author of the best-selling book, Gods
Smuggler, seeks to serve and strengthen the Persecuted Church in the worlds
most difficult areas through training, literature distribution, community development
and personal encouragement. To partner with Open Doors call 949-752-6600, go to
its USA web site at www.opendoorsusa.org
or write Open Doors with Brother Andrew, PO Box 27001, Santa Ana, CA 92799.
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